Lost Planet, one of the original launch games for the 360, and the first game I played, in the form of a demo back in 2006, the game looked beautiful, played well and was the epitome of Capcom at that time, fantastic quality with new IP’s that stretched what we were used too. Now 7 years later, it seems Capcom have forgotten that, with the release of Lost Planet 3, a game that in a sense isn’t Lost Planet at all, sure it has snow and Akrid, but everything else is different.
Lost Planet 3 is one of the most recent collaborations that Capcom are trying with Western developers, which they finally announced this year that they will no longer be outsourcing anymore game developments, with all the bad rep they have gotten with the past couple of games who blames them. If you followed any of the games that Capcom have outsourced, you will know that all of them have been big disappointment to old fans, and some new fans alike.
Lost Planet 3 is no different, it suffers from what I like to call, “Wide Audience Syndrome”, which is when a publisher wants a game to appeal to a wider audience to gain more sales, but instead alienates the original fans and fails to bring in many more new fans, this can be seen from Bionic Commando, all the way to DmC which is a damn shame
You play as Jim, You play as Jim, a Rig Pilot that leaves earth to take on a very lucrative contract on E.D.N III, foe me he has a very large similarities to Nicolas Cage, mostly in the form of a flash back from old timer Jim. The story is fantastic is has to be said, possibly the biggest upside to this game. I really enjoyed playing through the game to find out what happened to E.D.N III, the characters where very likeable as well as the voice acting is top notch. The graphics really show that the Xbox 360 and PS3 still have some life in them, pushing them to their max, with some beautiful effects with little to no slow down occurring throughout the game.
There are many atmospheric parts in the game, the one that stands out to me was when an Empire class storm sets in whilst you are in your rig, the intense cold freezes up your viewing panels and even stops your rig from moving. Now with any sense you would wish to stay in your mech during this major storm, but no Jim exits the rig into the extreme cold that just stopped a giant robot working, without anything to cover his face up, 1 step forward, 2 steps back. You will most likely lose interest in the mechs, as they are quite simply slow and useless, nothing like the ones from Lost Planet 1 & 2 with over top weaponry, you do find out why as it is explained briefly in the story. I found it much easier to jump out of the mech and just shoot anything down myself where possible, though every time you want to get out of the base or have to do some mundane task, you will need to use your mech to interact with something, it’s so very fun.
One part of the game that I found very annoying is when you are forced to put your weapon away and walk through a scene, the first time this happens is when Jim walks through an Akrid nest, now this type of scene is supposed to build up a little tension or give the developer a perfect opportunity to give the player a jump scare, but the game fails in many ways at doing this. For one, as your weapon is not out, even if something runs past you or attacks you, it will not be a massive threat to your survival, this is just general game logic, if your weapon isn’t out it’s just trying to make you shit your pants.
Most of these scenes I personally just walked through them ignoring most of what was going on, it just didn’t seem that important to pay any attention too, even when the music was trying it’s best to build up the tension in the game. In the end it became damn funny just watching Akrid running about, without any threat of death or damage to Jim. This game is littered with strange and frankly annoying gameplay choices, such as, if there is ammo on the floor, you have to press B to pick it up, more than one grenade? Well you’re going to be sitting there spamming B for a while, it really breaks the flow of gameplay, and becomes more of a chore, I found myself ignoring most of them because of this, and strangely for a game obviously trying to be a scary game, ammo is plentiful.
Another is when there are no Akrid or enemies around you, the game does not allow you to switch your weapons, it might seem small, but imagine this, you carry on with your adventure and all of a sudden a shit tonne of Akrid come out of know where, you pull out your pistol which you know is lacking any bullets, and have to switch it out for your next weapon available, now it may only take a few seconds to swap over, but that’s not the point, you really do not want to go into any fire fight without a good amount of ammo. In fact randomly without you knowing, the game will simply not allow you to switch weapons, I don’t know why it does this, but pressing Y will not cause you to switch weapons, only running out of ammo will cause it to switch.
Of course these things come in three’s; you get these lovely little prompts when you have to do something in the game, such as fixing a rig or interacting with something else. Now if you played the original lost planet, you would remember hammering B as fast as you can when you found a thermal antenna, now you have to spin your sticks or match up wave lengths to fix anything. There is no reason to put these in the game apart from some desperate attempt to increase the length of the game, they are boring and I’ve never sat here going, “Oh boy, another useless part where I have to spin my analogue sticks around, it’s really like I’m an engineer!” If there was something I wouldn’t mind not seeing again in video games, are these little “mini games”. Because by the second time I had to “Repair” something, I was sick of it
This game also seems to borrow heavily from the Dead Space series, even the story has resemblances, but gameplay wise you have your information in the form of a screen that comes out of your wrist computer, and navigation points help you find your way. Now you remember the Dead Space navigation line that would come up once pressed and prompt you where to go? If not, you press the button, and a line will show you to your next objective, here with lost planet 3, you get a little icon on the screen, but if you are not looking where it is, you won’t find it, if your too close to an older objective it will repeatedly show you that instead. It is the most frustrating part of this game, because it is not intuitive, it just causes headaches. What’s worse is that if this game wasn’t called Lost Planet, I would never dream to call it a lost planet rip off; I would instead call it a Dead space rip off, with cheap scares a plenty. This game is a massive detour off the original Action/Adventure game that launched alongside the 360.
Lost Planet 3 is a great example of how to not treat a franchise, never outsource your greatest games to another developer, all you will get back in a half-baked version of your beloved franchise. Based on what we see from its chart position it entered at No10 on the Xbox 360, No14 on the PS3 and did not even hit a position within the top 10, PC or the All Format chart. (UKIE Chart weekending 31st August 2013) I can only give this game a 2/5 just for the enjoyable story and great graphics everything else is very disappointing. I hope Capcom reinvigorates all the franchises they have allowed external developers to create and bring them back to their former glory.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.